QUALITY OF MA60 AIRCRAFT IN QUESTION

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP May 9, 2011 19:52

QUALITY OF MA60 AIRCRAFT IN QUESTION

Following the crash of a Merpati Nusantara Airlines MA60 aircraft on Saturday in Kaimana, West Papua that killed all 27 people on board, critics have called the safety record of the aircraft, made by China’s Xian Aircraft Industry Co., into question.

Previously two Merpati MA60 aircraft have also been involved in incidents in July 2010 and February 2011 although there were no casualties.

In July 2010 at Selaparang airport in West Nusa Tenggara, the scheduled flight of a Merpati MA60 aircraft was called off due to a short circuit problem in the cabin, while in February this year at Kupang airport in East Nusa Tenggara, a Merpati MA60 skidded off the runway.

Previous vice president of the airline Jusuf Kalla initially rejected a plan to purchase MA60 airplanes, saying production volume was too low and the model had not received certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However the airline later agreed to rent the MA60 planes for Merpati but these were later bought in 2009, after Kalla left the company. In a 2009 hearing at the House of Representatives, former president director Bambang Bhakti of Merpati airlines said that the airline found cracks in the rear wings of two MA60 airplanes that were subsequently grounded.

Herry Bhakti S. Gumay, director general for air transportation at the Transportation Ministry, declared that the Merpati MA60 met Indonesian airworthiness criteria even though they were not FAA-certified.

Herry stated that the crash in Kaimana was likely caused by bad weather rather than poor build quality.

The aircraft’s flight data and voice recorders have been recovered and are being investigated in Jakarta.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP May 9, 2011 19:52
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